Artificial intelligence is providing a boost for region’s recruitment firms

ARTIFICIAL intelligence is helping to improve the performance of Yorkshire’s leading recruitment firms, according to senior figures at Ward Hadaway, the law firm behind the Yorkshire Fastest 50.

8 February 2019. Nathan Bilton, of Ward Hadaway, Leeds, centre, with Andrew Maeer and Melanie Stead from Optimal PBS recruitment agency.

The Yorkshire Fastest 50 awards are organised by Ward Hadaway in partnership with The Yorkshire Post to celebrate the rising stars of Yorkshire’s corporate community.

Developments such as the Advanced Manufacturing Park in South Yorkshire are helping to attract more skilled jobs to the region.

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In recent years, growing numbers of recruitment firms have appeared in the Fastest 50 list. Castle Employment, Caval, Consult Search and Selection Limited and Logical Personnel Solutions all made an appearance in 2018’s Fastest 50 list compared with just two recruitment companies that featured in 2015.

The Fastest 50 is supported by Ward Hadaway and The Yorkshire Post

Nathan Bilton, an associate in Ward Hadaway’s commercial team in Leeds, said: “The rise in the number of agencies in our list during 2018 is testament to the positive mood within the region and within the recruitment industry sector as a whole.

“Despite the current uncertainty with Brexit, immigration issues and evolving technology, the recruitment industry has continued to flourish, boosting our regional economy.”

“Recruiters are not only seeing an increase in demand for the services of recruitment agencies, they are taking advantage of favourable market conditions and the opportunity this represents for aspiring entrepreneurs.

“With companies such as Sky Betting & Gaming and NHS Digital being joined by Channel 4 in Leeds, and Plusnet and WANdisco growing in Sheffield, along with the Advanced Manufacturing Park, Yorkshire is providing opportunities for tech-focused jobs away from London.”

Melanie Stead, the managing director of Optimal People & Business Services, said the use of digital technology is helping recruitment agencies narrow the candidate base.

She said: “The roles within a recruitment agency have changed. Data analysts and technology experts are now in these organisations.

“In addition to this, recruitment consultants are working hard to build relationships with their clients and candidates to help understand what their drivers and motivators are, ensuring there is an alignment of values between them both.

“Clients are demanding a much improved service from recruitment agencies, expecting them to understand their business model, their brand, their strategy and their culture and the top recruitment consultants across the industry have really stepped up to that challenge.”

“Good recruitment agencies are looking for a long-term relationship with their clients and their candidates, not just a quick fee for a one-off role.

“The introduction of artificial intelligence has enabled the best consultants to take a strategic approach and build a candidate base not just for their client’s needs now, but in the future as well.”

Andrew Maeer, owner and managing director at Amsource Technology in Leeds, said artificial intelligence is on the rise in the recruitment sector, with chatbots being the first to provide this service.

However, skills matching that technology are still in their infancy.

The Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 identifies the privately-owned, profit-making companies which have seen the biggest annual expansion in their turnover in recent years.

A definitive list of the 50 fastest-growing companies in Yorkshire will be published in March.

Then on March 22 at a special event at Aspire, awards will be handed out to the fastest-growing small, medium-sized and large businesses. One of those three winners will then receive the accolade of being crowned Yorkshire’s overall fastest growing business

for 2019.

This is the ninth time that the Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 has taken place, and the event has become a firm fixture in the region’s business calendar